In Sri Lanka, provinces are the first level administrative division. They were first established by the British rulers of Ceylon in 1833. Over the next century most of the administrative functions were transferred to the districts, the second level administrative division. By the middle of the 20th century the provinces had become merely ceremonial. This changed in 1987 when, following several decades of increasing demand for a decentralization, the 13th Amendment to the 1978 Constitution of Sri Lanka established provincial councils. Currently there are nine provinces.
The most densely populated province of Sri Lanka, the Western Province which is 3,593 km2 in extent is home to the country’s legislative capital Sri Jayewardenepura. It is also home to the country’s commercial hub, Colombo.
The Central Province is located in the central hills of Sri Lanka comprising of three administrative districts: Kandy, Matale and Nuwara-Eliya. The land area of the province is 5,575 km2 which is 8.6% of the total land area of Sri Lanka.
The Southern Province of Sri Lanka is a small geographic area consisting of three districts: Galle, Matara and Hambantota. Farming and fishing are the main sources of income for the vast majority of the people in this region.
The Uva Province consists of two districts: Badulla and Moneragala while the capital of the province is Badulla. Uva is bordered by the Eastern, Southern and Central provinces.
Sabaragamuwa is yet another province of Sri Lanka, located in the south-central region of the island and is comprised of two administrative districts: Ratnapura and Kegalle.
North Western Province
North Western Province is comprised of two administrative districts viz. Kurunegala and Puttalam. The provincial capital is Kurunegala that has a population of 28,571. The province is well known for its coconut plantations.
North Central Province
The largest province of Sri Lanka, located in the dry zone being 10,714 km2 in extent, the North Central Province that consists of two administrative districts viz. Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa,
The Northern Province is located in the north of Sri Lanka just 35 km from India. It has a land area of 8,884 km’. The province is surrounded by the Gulf of Mannar and Palk Bay to the west, Palk Strait to the north west, the Bay of Bengal to the north and east and the Eastern, North Central and North Western provinces to the south.
Another province of Sri Lanka mostly known for its golden beaches and the natural harbour, the Eastern Province which is 9,996 km2 in extent consists of three administrative districts namely Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Ampara.
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